Postgame Quotes - Storm 66, Mercury 57
Lauren (Jackson) came out great in the first half on the boards but she was just 1-for-8 from the floor. She came out just as focused in the second half and her shots fell. Her conditioning is obviously there because she had a great second half. It says a lot for this team because we have a lot of weapons. Sandy Brondello picked up the slack in the first half. That was what we were hoping for when we formed this team, more people than just Sue Bird and Lauren contributing.
Everything she took in the first half was short so we talked to her about getting her legs underneath her and keeping her focus. She was very aggressive, she had four offensive rebounds in the first half so she wasn’t just shooting and running the other way. I was really pleased with her presence and her focus.
You know what is so impressive, is that she is playing (Tamicha) Jackson, so she has one of the toughest matchups out there and she still shot the ball extremely well in the first half. The second half, they did a good job of defending Sandy. She wasn’t all there offensively but she continued to keep it up defensively. She’s not your typically player. She has a quick release on her shot and she shoots on the move which makes it very difficult to guard her.
On the remainder of the homestand:
I don’t think we played our best basketball tonight so we’re still looking to play some good basketball while we’re here in Seattle. We have the luxury of being here for a couple of weeks so we want to take advantage of KeyArena. Our LA game, we broke down at the end and gave that one away, we played well against Sacramento and we played well enough tonight to get this win so we’re trying to build our momentum.
On her condition:
The best thing for my knee is rest and time but it’s frustrating for me because I want to be out there at all times. I think that sitting out of practice will be very beneficial for me and I know I’m on my way to being 100 percent. I just can’t do some of the things I normally do. I have to use my head now a little bit more, which could turn out to be very good for me. In the first half I was trying a little too hard to do the things I normally do but the second half I just played within myself and used my teammates and it really worked for us.
Sandy was tremendous for us in the first half. She kept us in it and kept us going. We have so many players like that this year.
On the Mercury:
Phoenix is a very scrappy team. They play the same defense we did last year. They like a very messy game and at times they got us to play that way. But if you look at the time periods that we were playing our game, we would have been up by 20. It was just those times that we weren’t playing well, five minutes here, three minutes there that we got caught up in it. We didn’t play our best game tonight and we could have folded but, they cut it to five, but we just had a lot of confidence in what we were doing.
On another close loss:
We’ve had a very tough schedule to start the season, and we’ve been playing on the road against the Houstons, the Sacramentos, the Seattles. It’s been tough, but we have to look at the silver lining in that cloud and say, ‘We are going to get better, we are getting better.’ We had balls that were right around the rim and out, those balls go down - we had it to seven – a couple of those shots go down and it’s a different basketball game.
On the Storm:
This is a great basketball team, they have two of the greatest basketball players in the world in Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird. That’s a tremendous challenge for us.
She’s a great player. She was at home, she had a great night. Great players have great nights. She’s an Olympian, she’s one of the greatest women’s players on this Earth.
On her career-high 16 points:
I felt good in warm-ups, I felt like I had a little spunk. I felt like I had good rhythm on my shot. Unfortunately, I missed some open looks tonight, but I felt pretty good.
On looking for her shot:
He puts me in, if I have a good jump shot, I have to take it. We have to be able to stretch the defense with the outside shooting.
On scoring just two points in the second half:
They went into a zone. I don’t think they necessarily shut me down. My shot was open, and I wasn’t trying to force it in the second half.
On playing against Jackson:
This is my fourth year and I think this is the third year I’ve guarded her. She’s getting better every year. She’s a great player and I actually enjoy playing against her.